Tue, Feb 03, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Ko’s plan to seek donations for employees sparks ire

CONTRADICTIONS:A KMT councilor said that the Taipei mayor attacks corporations on one hand and then solicits donations from them to cover bureacratic costs

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Controversy erupted yesterday over a media report that said Taipei Mayor Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) planned to seek donations from corporations to provide performance bonuses to city employees.

The Chinese-language Apple Daily report quoted Ko’s chief of staff Tsai Pi-ju (蔡壁如) as saying that Ko had asked the Taipei City Government’s Department of Finance to look into establishing an “achievement fund” to reward city government employees — thus reducing the number of employees who receive the same salaries for different standards of work. She was also quoted as saying that if such a fund could not be established the mayor would use his monthly NT$150,000 discretionary fund to reward outstanding employees.

The mayor is known for his work ethic, with media reports recently on his requirement that department commissioners to be available around the clock via messaging app Line.

Taipei City Government spokesman Sidney Lin (林鶴明) yesterday confirmed that Ko was considering establishing such a fund, but said that there were not yet any definite plans.

“The discussion [about the achievement fund] is still very ‘rough,’” he said. “There is also the issue of public perception and legality, because there are currently no clear legal guidelines.”

The city government’s Department of Finance Commissioner Su Jain-rong (蘇建榮) said that any achievement fund would have to have to be approved by the national government, as well as by the Taipei City Council as part of the budgeting process — even if it were established with corporate donations.

Department of Finance spokesman Yu Shih-ming (游適銘) said that because there is no clear legal foundation for such a fund, its establishment would mean requesting that the national government either amend the law or else prepare an official interpretation of current law.

News that the Ko was considering soliciting corporate donations to establish the fund drew criticism from Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) city councilors.

“You attack the bureaucracy on one hand and corporations on the other, then try to solicit money from corporations to cover the bureaucracy,” KMT Taipei City Councilor Hsu Hung-ting (徐弘庭) said.

Accepting such donations would call into question Ko’s impartiality in his quest to renegotiate contract terms for city development development projects, KMT Legislator Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) was quoted as saying by the Apple Daily.

This story has been viewed 2964 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top